Troy (pictured) and his father, Noel Dugdale appeared in Maroochydore Magistrates Court today.
Troy (pictured) and his father, Noel Dugdale appeared in Maroochydore Magistrates Court today.

‘Just popped out of the ground:’ 6ft cannabis plants found

A father and son have both appeared in court on drug charges, after police searched their property and found six-foot cannabis plants the duo said "popped out of the ground".

The father, Noel William Dugdale, fronted Maroochydore Magistrates Court today and pleaded guilty to charges of producing and possessing dangerous drugs.

His son, Troy Dugdale, also appeared before the court.

Police prosecutor Lee Allan told the court at 9am on March 3 police executed a search warrant on the rural property.

"Police observed a cannabis plant in front of the dwelling which was approximately 6 foot in height," Senior Constable Allan said.

The court heard Noel admitted it was his plant and there was another one on the side of the house, also six-foot tall.

Police also found three smaller cannabis plants.

"When questioned, the defendant stated they had 'just popped out of the ground'," Sen Const Allan said.

The court heard police also found 1g of cannabis on the outside table, as well as three small stems in the ground next to the cannabis plant.

"There was also a search in a smaller-hut-style dwelling where the defendant used to reside, police located a large number of cannabis branches hanging from the roof," Sen Const Allan said.

"When questioned about the branches, the defendant stated they were his and he had located them approximately four days ago when he was riding his motorbike and snapped them off, and hung them up in the hut to dry out, ready to smoke.

"The total weight of that amount was in excess of 500g."

Noel was self represented and told the court he used the cannabis for pain relief.

"I've had quite a few nasty accidents, it's been said that I've got a 76 per cent disability in my hip," he said.

"I don't take any prescription drugs or any other drugs for my pain other than cannabis and I have for quite awhile."

Magistrate Rod Madsen said Noel was not learning from his offences, continually returning to court for producing and using cannabis.

"Do you want to go to jail?" Mr Madsen asked.

"Your history goes back to 1986, that was 30 years ago.

"You're going to run out of options. If you're going to keep doing what you're doing, you're going to go to jail."

Mr Madsen sentenced Noel to six months' probation, with convictions recorded.

Troy pleaded guilty to his own charges of possessing cannabis and utensils.

"I'd just thought you'd like to know what your dad was doing one month before you were born, he was appearing in court for using drugs," Mr Madsen said.

"He might have been celebrating your impending birth."

The court heard during the same search warrant of his father's house, police found 30g of cannabis on a table inside the house which Troy admitted belonged to him.

They also found clip-seal bags with cannabis seeds and a glass water pipe.

Troy told the court he also used cannabis for pain relief for his brain injury.

He was fined $400, with convictions recorded.


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